Janna Eggers on Blackbaud’s new product vision

At its annual conference in Washington DC, software vendor Blackbaud today announced the outcome of its review of the many software solutions it has amassed through a series of acquisitions in recent years.  There has been concern and controversy in the build-up to this announcement and you can see our take on the background in our blog post last week.

Today, Jana Eggers, Senior VP of products and marketing took the stage in front of 2000+ delegates to explain what she and her colleagues have decided to do. Below is a short interview discussing the implications and opportunities for charities in the UK.

Here are the headlines of today’s announcement:

No RE8

To the surprise of many, there will be no major upgrade of The Raiser’s Edge, Blackbaud’s highly developed but ageing donor management system.  Now in version 7.92, the company is focusing on incremental improvements, in particular to its hosting service, built-in analytics tools, social media and the RE Mobile App.

Blackbaud CRM rolls out

So far, there are just three clients of this high-end solution in the UK, with a few dozen very large non-profits globally, but this number is rising and Blackbaud says it is ready to evolve, simplify and roll out BBCRM to many more.  However, this is still likely to need a 6-figure budget, which means it is an option only for larger organisations with the requirement and resources for this scale of solution.

Lots of integration

Blackbaud is placing great emphasis on better “plumbing” with a number of new connectors that will join up many of its CRM and online fundraising tools including BBCRM and TeamRaiser. A new, improved integration to connect RE and online fundraising solution Luminate Online will be available in Q1 2013. These connectors are also intended to make Blackbaud solutions much more open and accessible to third party systems.

Commitment to Salesforce, but only in the US

Responding to market concerns in the wake of the recent decision to retire Common Ground, Blackbaud was at pains to emphasise the company’s strong commitment to the Salesforce platform, pointing to recent upgrades to Luminate CRM and plans to integrate with its other tools.  However, critical for non-US organisations is that, due to resource limitations, this product will not be available to clients outside North America.

Detailed product roadmap announcements will take place at the BBCon event, which continues until Tuesday.  We will publish more detailed information as it becomes available.